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Solaris 10 ZFS Essentials
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
If, like myself, you are a Solaris 10 system administrator maintaining production systems ZFS looks like a killer feature. Live-Upgrade on snapshots, dynamically resizable storage pools, atomic writes and block level data integrity through checksums... What's not to like?
Unfortunately this is not the book you are looking for.
This seems to be aimed at the junior level system administrator dipping their toes in the ZFS pool.
While the author dedicates three chapters to OpenSolaris and Virtual Box (with screenshots, no less), there is no mention anywhere of ZFS send/receive, the ZIL (tuning it), zdb or running Oracle databases on ZFS.
You will be better served by printing out the Solaris documentation and reading the various websites dedicated to ZFS and solaris [...].
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2010
OK first off I'm a little upset that I got this in the mail unexpectedly as I ordered it some six months ago when it was supposed to ship in a month. But, there it was, so instead of sending it back I figured I would give the book a chance, but at $30+ for a super slim technical book, expectations were high.

I was very let down. I know of ZFS, I even played with it quickly one day on OpenSolaris, but I've never used it in production, etc. I've also read a few random articles on it over the past few years, it's had a lot of buzz. Thus I'd say I have a beginner's level understanding of ZFS, but this was still very dry and boring, and lacking on the details. Perhaps I should of read the description more closely, it should read something like this:

A quick read and rehash of the ZFS documentation with a few examples and very limited scope. The book does not cover high level design or how things work under the hood, which is the reason I bought the book.

I guess the title kind of says it all "ZFS *essentials*"; the essentials are all you will get. If it were $9.00, I'd give it 3 stars, but at $30+ it's ridiculous.

DO NOT BUY!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
On a positive note, the book covers exactly what the title claims: the essentials. But, I was expecting something more (purchased online, sight unseen). To be fair, my criticism has more to do with Sun's pricing policy than at the book itself. Perhaps, I live in an archaic, bygone pricing age.

This is the book for the administrator who needs a concise reference on how to set up and administer ZFS and how to address common failures, with each (every?) feature described and illustrated in a logical sequence. It includes both the basic and some of the less-frequent tasks (migrating UFS->ZFS pools, patching ZFS boot environments, etc.)

It's not, however, a thorough treatment of ZFS. It doesn't cover ZFS internals and implementation nor does it provide a wealth of insight into diagnostics and recovery from disasters other than a high-level treatment of "snapshot" restores and "resilvering" (disappointingly, the screenshot of a "spool status mpool" showing a "degraded" pool in chapter 2.7 refers the reader to the Sun site for what to do and the accompanying text merely echoes that advice!)

Oddly, the book doesn't address the use of ZFS with Solaris 10 zones (containers). For that level of detail, one must refer to the ZFS Administration Guide on the Sun web site (no charge). That information wasn't deemed "essential". However, ZFS with Virtual Box as a lab (i.e., practice) environment is demonstrated.

So, do I recommend the book? Yes, especially if you can get someone else to pay for it (e.g., your company).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2010
This attempt to write a book on ZFS does a great disservice to the power of ZFS. The content was way too basic and did not provide any real insight to the workings of ZFS. Surf the web, read the blogs, this is not worth buying, even if your company pays for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2013
As an IT professional, I wanted to have a reference. This book is very good for the total 0. It explain how file system works, differences between raids, and general ZFS management. It does miss some components, that is why 4 stars.
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This book serves more as a primer or general introduction to ZFS. A lot has changed with the file system and new features have been added since its publication rendering this title to be outdated. Nonetheless, the reader is introduced to the file system and its general functionality. He provides good tutorials and examples. If you are looking for something more advanced, then the Internet may be a more sufficient guide. The author accomplished his goal by introducing the reading to essential concepts surrounding ZFS.
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on April 14, 2013
This book is probably not the book you want. It covers the superficial aspects of ZFS and little else. All the information in this book is available free of charge from various web sites. It does not cover any of the internal details of ZFS (such as the on-disk format) nor does it cover advanced administration of ZFS (such as performance tuning).
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on September 19, 2013
This book is very expensive and tiny ! + Worst it s not very well written. All the info (even better infos) can be find on Internet for FREE>
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2011
This book was able to provide lots insightful information on this file system technology.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Its very concise and wastes no space...highly recommend it.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
Even though I've used Solaris 10 with ZFS for years, I had not experimented too much with ZFS root pools. I was surprised to see how thin this book was, but decided to give it a chance... I bought it!

I wanted to get more experience with patching root Zpools. The book was right on the mark with it's instructions. I had no problems installing and patching Solaris 10u6 on x86 platform.

On a very minor note, there could have been some more info between screen shots, but it was very intuitive nontheless. If patching with a Recommended Patch Cluster you'd use his notes for luupgrade ..... -s /var/tmp/10_x86_Recommended, but if you patch with Sun's Alert_Patch_cluster you'd append the ./patches/ sub-directory to the path, such as: ... -s /var/tmp/10_x86_SunAlert_Patch_Cluster/patches. That took me a few minutes to figure out what was wrong.

I look forward to using the rest of the book!

Good job Scott! How about a book for ZFS in the "Enterprise". I see little out there about ZFS on Enterprise-class storage. The blogs and instructions cover more on JBOD-like (Just a Bunch of Disks) storage or file-based vdevs for training and such. How about ZFS using large terabyte LUNs on the Hitachi's of the world; and lots of those LUNs too. Any pit-falls or performance considerations one might run into? It may be another short book though since ZFS seems to work quite well out of the box. But hey, some of us like concise short books too.

{:-)
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